45 mph suggested on White Marsh Road

Published 11:24 pm Thursday, July 14, 2011

White Marsh: City traffic engineers have recommended that the speed limit on the unmarked portion of White Marsh Road be changed to 45 miles per hour. It currently is 55 mph by statute.

Suffolk officials are considering a speed limit reduction on White Marsh Road after a speed study found that the average speed on the road is well under the posted speed.

Traffic engineers conducted speed studies on a number of mostly rural roads, including Gardner Lane, Gates Run Road, Holy Neck Road, Little Fork Road, Old Myrtle Road and White Marsh Road.

On most of the roads, officials recommended maintaining the current speed limit but trimming vegetation near curves in the road in an effort to increase visibility.


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But on White Marsh, the average speed in the 55-mile-per-hour zone is only 51.5 mph, the study found. That area of the road handles about 800 vehicles per day.

The road runs from East Washington Street to Carolina Road. On the mile closest to East Washington Street, the speed limit is either 25 or 35 mph.

But beyond that, there is no posted speed limit, which makes the limit 55 mph by statute.

From 2008 to 2010, there were 75 crashes on White Marsh Road, with 18 injuries and two fatalities. One crash involved a pedestrian.

In the unposted section of the road, there are no pavement markings, and shoulder conditions are “marginal in some areas,” the traffic study states. There are also multiple curves, some of which are not posted with warning signage.

“Given the inconsistent roadway characteristics on White Marsh Road within the existing unposted section, unforgiving shoulder conditions, and the frequency and severity of crashes occurring within this area, it is recommended that the speed limit be reduced within the existing unposted section and posted at 45 mph,” the study states.

The 25- and 35-mph sections would remain unchanged.

The roadway’s signage also would be evaluated and new signs placed if necessary.